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Crawford auction goes against wishes of volunteers

Letters to the Editor

Arkady Polinkovsky

Issue date: 10/2/09 Section: Opinion
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I would like to thank the editors of The Observer for recognizing the sale of some priceless automobiles ("Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum to auction $1 million in cars," Sept. 25). And I understand that the reporter tried to get both sides of the story, but I do not believe that he understood that the Western Reserve Historical Society is feigning stupidity in many ways.

The WRHS is selling off treasures like Hiram Walker's Pierce-Arrow, at one time the most photographed car in the world, as it was used in all the advertisements for his liquor brand. They have also sold the best example of a gull-wing in the country (they had two and kept the one that is in the worst condition).

The interesting part is that the WHRS claims that it is simply "culling" the collection, as part of the whole, but I have yet to see anything up for sale from the other parts of the museum. And it also says that it would like to have a "Cleveland center" exhibition, which is like selling all of the Monets and Picassos in the Cleveland Museum of Art.

So in the end, I do not understand how WRHS is letting go of these works of art that it will never again be able to get back, and it is also doing it at the cost of losing the respect of the car hobby community, something it will likely not be able recover for a long time either.

I wrote this letter not because I am angry, but because I am upset, and I have a vested interest in the Crawford, like all the volunteers that have worked there for up to 10 years, putting in up to six hours a week, helping to preserve the collection and putting equity into it. Indeed, my 'friend' is part of their collection - DEXTER.

I was the vehicle tech lead for Team Case in the DARPA Urban Challenge [which developed the robotic car, DEXTER] and had I known that WRHS would act in such a way, I would not have allowed the team leader to donate the robot to the society.
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In This Issue

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Worst Case Scenario

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